The smouldering face-off between Kuki Students’ Organisation and some non-tribal social organisations in Manipur has caused concern among the people. Despite the fact that the straws in the wind are taking a definite disturbing shape, the government, which has been claiming that the BJP-led government has bridged the hill-valley chasm, has not intervened.
The valley people have been worshipping since time immemorial the venerated mountain gods of the Koubru and the Thangjing in Kangpokpi and Bishnupur districts respectively. The KSO reportedly obstructed the planting of saplings in the Koubru mountain by government officials in conjunction with volunteers. Later an agreement was reached.
Ngamkheingakpa Luwang, general secretary of Kangleipak Kunba Lup said, “The ban says that people and organisations from the valley [non-tribals] cannot come to the mountains and do anything. It includes worshipping the venerated mountain gods since time immemorial. KSO has no authority to do so. It should withdraw the ban.”
Talking to reporters Mr. Luwang said that the Thangjing mountain is a sacred place for the Meiteis all these generations. People and organisations do not have to take permission from the Kuki tribal students. He said, “The Kuki students are spreading a tendentious rumour saying that individuals and organisations from the valley are creating law and order problems. What kind of problems have been created by the valley worshippers?” He added that the government should intervene to ban this Kuki body if the ban is not lifted.
Official sources said that security measures have been beefed up to ensure that there is no untoward incident which will have a spill-over. Manipur had experienced a communal carnage and ethnic “cleansing”. In one instance 102 men, women and some children were massacred on a single day. However complete normality was restored within days since the clashes were engineered by some armed youths.